BY DAVID LEWIS
Montana is a strange place to have a lawn, especially if you live on the outskirts of town, where new subdivisions creep into the prairie, with all its variegated grasses, jackrabbits, hoppers, bugs of all kinds and earth hugging foliage. From a distance, that prairie looks empty, yet it teems with life, the kind you don’t see at a glance and that is adapted to the high winds, dry summers and cold winters of Montana.
In these subdivisions where we build suburban-like developments, that prairie gets chewed up and destroyed, landscape that took ages getting the way it was, perfect and all, and that is then taken out by the treads of excavators, and carpeted over with green sod to create lawns.
With the prairie still within eyeshot, one laments that the lawn has to be watered, tended, and mowed, or else why have one in the first place? Though it would be great if somehow we could leave the prairie intact around the new houses (pretty hard when construction equipment disturbs the earth), because it’s chock full of fascinating lifeforms that come alive with rain and warmth.
Recently, the nearby prairie seemed to be exerting a measure of vengeance upon my lawn, perhaps innocently, but in a way that signaled its hidden power.
Unable to mow my grass due to a demanding work schedule (so you have something to read while eating your Cheerios), out of a stack of business cards came one for Artistic Landscaping. I called the guy on a nice spring day and before I knew it he and his impressive mower had knocked down the six-inch high grass across my entire lawn. Two hours after he finished, as the sun fell low in the sky, while inspecting the job (it looked fine) I noticed ultra-fine silken threads running like slack tightropes between blades of grass. The silken threads were not webs, mind you, but strands, and could only be seen by lowering one’s eyes to ground level and catching their ephemeral reflections in the sun’s waning rays. I saw a few of these long fine threads, and some more, then realized they covered the entire lawn, varying in length from one to three feet and so fine that they were almost invisible.
What was amazing was that all these well-dispersed filigree strands of silk had been spun after the grass was cut and before I inspected the job, in ninety minutes or less.
Not being a bug expert (what kind of gig is that?), I couldn’t tell you exactly what creature had spun these strands, or what it hoped to accomplish, because they seemed incapable of snaring anything, in the same way that a tightrope is incapable of same, although there may exist in the bug world a Flying Walenda family that is attracted to this kind of thing for sporting purposes.
Anyway, the point is, since the grass had just been mowed this phenomenon happened immediately afterward on a wide scale. Amazing (and I recall a similar event in a swimming pool cover, that, left on the pool all spring filled with rain water and before you knew it the cover was a living breathing pond complete with various forms of life and a breeding pair of mallards).
Nature and life therefore, you could say, are irrepressible no matter what we do to it (we do too much). It has a hidden agenda and power that is beyond our control, and that mysterious agenda and power emanates from the smallest of worlds. Read Signature in the Cell by Stephen C. Meyer, who describes in excruciating scientific detail how the “first” rudimentary cell ever to have existed, from the get-go, contained within it the hyper-complex software, as he describes it, that orchestrated the internal replications of its RNA and powered its entire self-duplication, a feat that, no matter what anyone tells you, is beyond the explanatory power of theories put forth by science.
Getting back to my lawn, evidence of this smaller world is everywhere (but we’re busy looking elsewhere). Journeying more deeply into, say, the composition of the filigree silken threads favored by those little Flying Walendas, or into one of the blades of grass to which they cling, or into an actual Walenda brain (do bugs have brains?), one finds molecules, and atoms within them, and orbiting subatomic particles like planets around a sun, and these are all of course really small. But Nobel Prize winning physicists tell us that subatomic particles, electrons, and so on, possess qualities that can only be described as magical, literally, and that theirs is the essential nature of subatomic reality, including that of your brain. The particles, you see, have no absolute location, and that does not simply mean they move around a lot. It means that they are in the little Walenda’s brain and everywhere else in the universe at the same time. And they can shape shift into various forms. A better way to understand this would be to say that the entire subatomic world, the foundation of our world, does not exist as matter the way we think of it, but shares a dimension that is ultimately shapeless, spaceless and timeless, where all matter and people exist too, appearances aside.
Coincidentally, the French physicist and mystic Blaise Pascal also touched upon the mysteries inherent within my lawn in the 17th century (after he invented the calculator) in his mind-blowing essay Les Deux Infinis (The Two Infinities), in which he discussed the unavoidable end-lessness of nature in either direction, as it proceeds unceasingly beyond the stars and into the microscopic at the same time, to infinity.
Combine these revelations with Stephen Meyer’s and you’ve got something—is it the force Obi-Wan Kenobi was talking about? I don’t know, I don’t even own a microscope, or a telescope (nor a light saber, but I have a calculator), yet this may be the basis for rethinking a lot that’s going on out there—and whatever this power is, in time it can do just about anything it wants (sounds like Steven King), and it’s doing just that in my lawn.